After my first experience of Rio, I wasn’t too positive about visiting again. But I had Friday to Sunday off, and had an offer for a free ride to Rio City, and a free tour on the Friday, and a ride back in the evening, so I thought I should go.
I got to Ipanema beach about an hour before the tour and I didn’t want to leave. It was hot and sunny and I needed to chill. But i figured I could relax for the rest of the weekend so I headed to the tour and arrived just in time. To be honest I didn’t really want to do it but my options were as follows:
- Lay on beach till just after 1pm. Walk the 15 minutes back to the tour start point. Say öhhhh noooo” I missed the tour what a shame. Go back to the beach, spend 8 hours there, probably get bored after 2 hours then not know what to do till my 8pm lift back to Cardinot
- Go to the tour, endure it for 4 hours, then chill at the beach with a beer till my 8pm lift back to Cardinot
- Lie on the beach till 12:50, say to yourself, just go, or you’ll be bored, if you miss it then it’s probably for the best, get to the tour at 13:05, find out they are leaving late, go on tour, meet loads of fun people,arrange to go out with them that evening, end up having a massive night out and staying the whole weekend (this is what happened)
I ended up meeting a really cool bunch of people on the tour and we arranged to go to a local bar that evening. So I went up to the top of Favela Vidigal and got myself a room for the night
We started off at the wine bar and soon decided that it was a good idea to head to Lapa, the party area. The photos above and below are from Lapa. The place was amazing. Graffiti everywhere and partys on the street all over the place. A lot of this place stank of piss and it was clearly the cool party place of this part of Rio. It felt like Shoreditch but a lot more genuine
We all got drunk anyway and it was a good night. The following day I figured the beach would cure my hangover so I walked the one hour down to Ipanema and sat for half an hour, got bored, then walked back up to get some Wifi and figure out what was happening that night. The plan was to go to a football match, then go to a night party market thing in the evening, and then I wanted to head back after to the favela party. This didn’t happen
The football fell through though so I got some sleep for the favela party which was organised to continue till 6am. It was a pretty tame party but the view and the sunrise in the morning made the whole thing worth it. There was some mental party going on about 100 metres up the road in a sports court but it looked like it was mainly very young people and I didn’t fancy getting murdered by 15 year olds so I left that party to enjoy itself without me
Some stuff I learned from a tour guide we were drinking with:
- There was a guy at the favela party who was in the film ‘City of God’
- There’s over a 1000 favelas (in rio, or maybe the country, not sure) of which just 60 have been pacified. Mainly around the Olympics area
- Gangs still run the pacified favelas but there’s less violence and crack. The ADA (amigos dos amigos) gang runs Vidigal and there are recent ADA tags all around the place
- After the current owner bought the favela house and turned it in to a sucessful hostel, the previous owner got jealous and paid the police to shut it down. So armed police raided the place, kicked out all the guests and changed the locks. It took three years of court cases to get the place back.